Sommelier Julee Resendez - Biography

November 2011

Julee Resendez spent her childhood summers helping out in her grandparents’ vineyards, where she learned about grapes before even thinking about wine. Years later, the early experience of caring for the vines lead Julee to the finished product: wine. She may have taken the long way round, but those summers in the vineyards have stayed with her.

Her route back to the grapes wound through college journalism and into the hospitality industry. The wine bug began to grab hold during her time in New York at the Blue Ribbon Bakery and Bouley Bakery. After 9/11 Julee moved to Atlanta, where she received her first public mention for her wine skills in an Atlanta-Journal Constitution review of the restaurant Commune, part of the Matthew Kenney group.

New York kept calling her back, and she eventually returned to hone her skills further at Café Boulud. She later opened davidburke & donatella as General Manager, this time earning mention from the New York Times in a two-star review. Her fine-dining skills were evident to all, but it wasn’t until she joined Jimmy Bradleys’ The Harrison that she was finally able to hone in on, and show off, her passion for wine. Aquavit noticed, and when they moved to their new location in 2005, they chose Julee to re-design their wine program. She also created the wine program at Colors, a restaurant started by former employees of Windows of the World. She recently left there to fly solo, and currently consults for a variety of restaurants and organizes private tastings and classes.

On the side, Julee is working on a book on wine and its history. She is a founding member of the Vino Vixens, a tasting group with a mission to develop a nurturing environment for female sommeliers, and a balance between work, wine, and life.